Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Redevelopment Board, January 22, 2024

Citizen Warrant Articles

Two citizen petition articles were presented for the board’s feedback. The first aimed to make three-family dwellings by right more available throughout Arlington while keeping current dimensional requirements in place. The petitioners requested feedback on several points, including how to handle the R3 district and existing accessory dwelling units.

The second article addressed rear-yard setbacks in the business district. The proposal suggested that for buildings in the business district abutting a residential area at the rear, only the fourth and higher stories would require a 30-foot setback, rather than the whole building as currently required. This change aimed to increase the economic feasibility of constructing taller buildings.

Redevelopment Board Warrant Articles

The board discussed four proposed warrant articles, including amendments to building definitions, an administrative clarification for section 5.4.2, administrative corrections to change bullet points to letters, and the deletion of the inland wetland overlay district from the zoning bylaw. All articles were approved for submission to the 2024 Town Meeting.

Warrant Article Hearing Schedule

The proposed hearing schedule for the warrant articles was reviewed, with hearings planned for February through April. The board discussed the potential need to reserve a larger venue for hearings on the affordable housing overlay and possibly another citizen petition article expected to have significant public interest.

Proposed Changes to Board Rules and Regulation for Site Plan Review

Member Eugene Benson presented draft changes to rule 20 for site plan review. Topics discussed included whether the pre-application meeting should be mandatory or optional for smaller projects, the required documentation, timeline durations for the review process, and the necessity of design review for projects that are by right.

New Business

Claire Ricker, the director of the Department Planning and Community Development,  updated the board on the project at 882 Mass Ave, including a rendering that showed updated facade changes but did not yet include updates to the vents or paint specifics for the aluminum storefronts. The board also briefly discussed the affordable housing unit sizes and regulatory agreements related to this project.



Inside Arlington was created by two Arlingtonians who are deeply concerned by the decline in local news and its impact on civic life. Our mission is to provide accessible information to Arlington residents to foster an informed and engaged citizenry. And we want to do it in an economically sustainable way. More…


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